Though working a few different part-time jobs might give you more flexibility in your schedule than you'd get with a full-time role, going that route can pose a challenge. Even if you're not working a full 40 hours each week, balancing the demands of multiple roles can be stressful in its own right. Here are a few tips for juggling more than one job -- without losing your sanity in the process.
1. Create a schedule -- and stick to it
The problem with having multiple jobs is that you're expected to manage each one independently of the other. But what happens when one job ramps up at the precise moment your other job starts demanding more of your attention and time? If you're working more than one gig, one of the best things you can do for yourself is plan each week out in advance and in detail. Create a schedule that dictates how much time you have available for each job and when.
Don't forget to incorporate your personal tasks and obligations into that schedule as well. When you're managing multiple jobs, it's easy to let them fall by the wayside, but you won't be doing yourself any favors by leaving for your restaurant shift on time only to realize that you failed to do laundry and therefore have no uniform to wear.
2. Determine your priorities
In an ideal world, you wouldn't have to compromise one job for another. In reality, there may come a point when you need to play favorites, so to speak, by giving one company or client priority over another. But rather than have to make those decisions on the spot, or from a place of feeling pressured, decide in advance which of your jobs or clients is most important to you. Perhaps it's the one that pays the most or the one with the greatest opportunity for growth. Having that in the back of your mind can help you better manage your workload accordingly.
3. Don't get in over your head
When you're working multiple jobs, it's easy to land in a situation where you're asked to do a lot in a relatively short amount of time. And while it's always good to be accommodating, don't stretch yourself thin to the point where you risk compromising on the quality of your work or letting a second company or client down. If, for example, you're asked to take on an extra shift at your restaurant job, make sure it won't impact your ability to deliver the presentation you have due for the marketing firm that contracted you. Otherwise, you risk looking bad, damaging that relationship, and compromising what could be a key income stream.
4. Give yourself a break
Working multiple gigs often means putting yourself in a position where there's little downtime. And while that's OK for a short period of time, if you maintain that sort of schedule too long, you risk burning out. Therefore, remember to let yourself off the hook from time to time when it comes to taking on work. You don't have to say yes to every project or weekend shift that comes your way, and as long as you can manage financially without that extra income, taking some extended breaks could actually help you work more efficiently when you are back on the job.
Managing more than one job takes a large amount of organization. The upside? Juggling multiple gigs can buy you a bit of job security -- if one falls through, there's another to fall back on. And that sort of peace of mind may be worth the struggle.